Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2019

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Consumers who are considering the purchase of a BMW 3 Series typically calculate the vehicle’s total cost of ownership (TCO) and compare this with the cost of owning similar luxury vehicles before making their final decision.

While repairs, maintenance and fuel costs are important considerations one important component that car buyers often leave out is the cost of car insurance.

You can enter your zip code above to get more detailed information about the cost of car insurance for a BMW 3 Series but first, read on to get more information about this popular luxury vehicle.

History of the BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series has been produced by German auto manufacturer BMW since 1975 and originally introduced as a more fuel efficient alternative to traditional luxury vehicles.

The BMW 3 Series’ body style has been overhauled four times since the original E21 line was released, most recently with the introduction of the fifth generation E90 in 2005. A new line, called the F30, is anticipated in 2012.

The 3 Series is BMW’s best-selling vehicle according to U.S. News and World Report, but it’s not just popular with consumers.

Car and Driver Magazine has ranked the 2 Series among its “Ten Best” for 20 consecutive years (from 1992 to 2011) and in 2006 won the New York Auto Show’s title of “World Car of the Year.”

A Car for Every Driver: BMW 3 Series Models

If you’ve determined that a BMW 3 Series is the car for you then you still have lots of choices left to make.

Buyers who opt for the standard model can choose among the Sedan, Touring, Coupe and Convertible designs, while those who select the sportier version – the BMW M3 –  have their choice of a Sedan, Coupe or Convertible.

Engine Options for the BMW 3 Series

The 328i engine is available in all four 3 Series models. It offers 230 horsepower and fuel economy between 27 and 28 highway miles per gallon, depending on the design type you select.

The 335i is available in the Sedan, Convertible and Coupe models, and this 300 horsepower engine gets up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway. The 320 horsepower 355is, which gets 26 mpg fuel economy on the highway, is available as a Convertible or Coupe.

The most fuel-efficient option is the 335d Sedan, which features a 265 horsepower engine that gets 36 miles per gallon on the highway. However, this is also one of the more expensive models, with an MSRP of $44,150.

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BMW 3 Series Standard vs. the M3

Drivers looking for even more power and performance in their BMWs can opt for an M3, which comes equipped with a 4.0 liter V8 engine. The BMW M3 offers 414 horsepower, but only gets 20 miles to the gallon in highway driving.

At $55,400 for an M3 Sedan or $58,900 for an M3 Coupe, the M3 is also pricier than comparable BMW 3 Series models.

The MSRP for a BMW 3 Series Sedan ranges from $33,650 to $44,150, and a 328i Coupe starts at $36,700. The most expensive 3 Series Coupe, the 355is, starts at $50,150.

Clearly, the M3 is the best option for drivers willing to pay a premium for extra performance, but the standard models will suit the everyday driver quite well.

BMW 3 Series Safety Features and Ratings

The BMW 3 Series comes equipped with many standard safety features which help BMW drives take advantage of car insurance discounts.

Some of the safety features available are stability control, run-flat tires and antilock brakes. Drivers and passengers are also protected by front and side-curtain airbags.

All-wheel drive is an available option. The most recent BMW 3 Series has yet to undergo safety testing by the federal government, but the 2010 models received excellent ratings and are very similar in design to the 2011 3 Series.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet tested the 2011 model either, but it also gave the similar 2010 model solid safety reviews.

Warranty Information for the BMW 3 Series

Owners of BMW 3 Series automobiles enjoy a 50,000 mile or 4-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

This warranty covers not only unexpected repairs, but also routine maintenance and roadside assistance. This is an added perk of BMW ownership, since most “bumper-to-bumper” warranties only cover mechanical defects, not routine maintenance.

This, as well as the vehicle’s respectable resale value, contributes to what U.S. News and World Report considers to be below-average ownership costs, even compared to other less luxurious vehicles.

Cost of Car Insurance for a BMW 3 Series

Given the wide range of options available within the 3 Series line, there is lots of variation in car insurance premiums. While your individual car insurance rates will vary based on your driving record and other personal characteristics, consumer surveys provide average insurance rates that can serve as a helpful guide.

BMW 3 Series Sedan owners typically pay around $142 per month, or $1,700 annually, for car insurance. This is quite reasonable compared to the average insurance rate for a BMW M3 Sedan, which is about $275 monthly, or $3,300 per year.

However, you’ll need to enter your zip code in the box to find rate estimates that are tailored to your individual situation.

Don’t forget, factors like where you live and how often you drive your vehicle can make a big difference in the rates you pay always compare at least a few providers before selecting a car insurance company.

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